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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

He thus won universal respect throughout the Kwanto

This Go-sannen struggle furnished also another topic for frequent pictorial representation. When about to attack the fortress of Kanazawa, to which the approaches were very difficult, Yoshiiye observed a flock of geese rising in confusion, and rightly inferred an ambuscade of the enemy. His comment was, "Had not Oye Masafusa taught me strategy, many brave men had been killed to-night." Yet one more typical bushi may be mentioned in connexion with this war. Kamakura Gongoro, a youth of sixteen, always fought in the van of Yoshiiye's forces and did great execution. A general on the enemy's side succeeded in discharging a shaft which entered the boy's eye. Gongoro, breaking the arrow, rode straight at the archer and cut him down. A shrine in Kamakura was erected to the memory of this intrepid lad.

When Yoshiiye reported to the Throne the issue of this sanguinary struggle, Kyoto replied that the war had been a private feud and that no reward or distinctions would be conferred. Yoshiiye therefore devoted the greater part of his own manors to recompensing those that had followed his standard. He thus won universal respect throughout the Kwanto. Men competed to place their sons and younger brothers as kenin (retainers) in his service and the name of Hachiman-ko was on all lips. But Yoshiiye died (1108) in a comparatively low rank. It is easy to comprehend that in the Kwanto it became a common saying, "Better serve the Minamoto than the sovereign."


Fujiwara Kiyohira, who is mentioned above as having espoused the cause of the Minamoto in the Go-sannen, was descended from Hidesato, the conqueror of Masakado. After the Go-sannen outbreak he succeeded to the six districts of Mutsu which had been held by the insurgent chiefs. This vast domain descended to his son Motohira, and to the latter's son, Hidehira, whose name we shall presently find in large letters on a page of Japanese history.

The Mutsu branch of the Fujiwara wielded paramount sway in the north for several generations. Near Hiraizumi, in the province of Rikuchu, may still be seen four buildings forming the monastery Chuson-ji. In one of these edifices repose the remains of Kiyohira, Motohira, and Hidehira. The ceiling, floor and four walls of this Konjiki-do (golden hall) were originally covered with powdered gold, and its interior pillars are inlaid with mother-of-pearl on which are traced the outlines of twelve Arhats. In the days of Kiyohira the monastery consisted of forty buildings and was inhabited by three hundred priests.





The 69th Sovereign, the Emperor Go-Shujaku A.D. 1037-1045

70th " " Go-Reizei 1046-1068

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